Saturday, January 28, 2006

Land of the Dead

Land of the Dead (George A. Romero, 2005) [7]
Every two-bit horror film director should be forced to watch this film, yet they probably have and learned nothing from it. Well, they definitely should have learned how to make a horror film that doesn’t rely on grimy visuals and cheap scare tactics instead of a credible plot. Romero has always placed a social conscious in his films that is pretty much non-existent in the genre. This film is a sequel to his Night of the Living Dead/Dawn of the Dead series, as the zombies have now taken over just about the entire nation expect for a walled-off paradise called Fiddler’s Green. Within this setting, Romero tackles the kind of class/race stratification that is every growing under George W. The privileged get to live in the immaculate Green, while the poor live in a shanty town on the perimeter. It’s this clash that is the predominant theme throughout. The zombies have become organized to an extent and want in to the Green. The humans, led by the Dennis Hopper character, want them out. The film brings out many parallels to the current situation in Iraq (Hooper is Rumsfeld, torturing zombies/Iraqis) which makes the entire zombie vs. human, rich vs. poor situation an allegory for the current situation. Romero’s ambition certainly trumps the current horror schlock being produced.

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